Review: Works, Sadler's Wells
4.0stars

I find it really interesting when shows allow you to imagine who the characters may be, what their relationships are like, and what is happening to them. Works is like that. 

As an audience member, we feel free to create your own story based on what we are seeing, and I’d say we also feel tempted to relate it to our own lives, as we often like to do. Therefore, there is a sense that Works is a combination of various shows framed together. This doesn’t mean that the piece is fragmented or that the performers aren’t connected. In my view, it is the exact opposite. The dancers are in absolute connection, they give themselves to each other in a symbiosis that is moving to witness. 

In this collective energy, however, it is possible to see each person individually, almost as if we can get a sense of the group’s dynamics and at the same time, we get to know in detail each dancer, individually. 

Throughout the 75 minutes of this performance, there is a sort of code that is not easy to understand. Sometimes it feels like parts of what we are seeing are being improvised through a logic that is not understandable to the audience. Nevertheless, this code seems to be very clear to the ones on stage, and so it is very engaging to see the performers reacting to each other’s proposals. 

The music, created by several different artists, is remarkable and it brings so many possibilities and different moods to the stage. The way dancers relate with and dance to the different musical genres is thrilling. I find especially beautiful the ability the group have to dance in silence and the effect that music can have after a long period of silence. 

The simplicity of the costumes is intriguing and it seems to say a lot about each performer or imagined character as well. The way clothes can say so much about us and the ambiguity that the clothes can bring to this show is brilliant. There is a man in a dress. How would this performance be different if that male dancer was wearing jeans? How would that have changed the narratives I imagine for him? Does this thought say more about the dancer or about my own expectations and assumptions? 

Works has the power to make us think about what is urgent to us. The dancers also perform urgently, as if they have so much to share with the audience, as if it is very important for them to be seen. Their technique, virtuosity, lightness, depth and commitment are amazing. 

My only reservation with this show is the lights. I don’t find them very rich and varied like the rest of the elements. Maybe there is also a certain code that I should be able to understand through the lightning, but I can’t seem to figure it out.   

Works played at Sadler’s Wells until 12 November. For more information, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.